The Fat Badger, Vancouver, Canada

Fat Badger fish and chips
Fish and chips at The Fat Badger.

The Fat Badger gastropub is a favorite of mine. One, because I’m lazy (it’s just up the street). Two, because the food is good. And three, because the mascot is a pudgy badger wearing a three-piece suit with a top hat and monocle and holding what I can only assume is a frosty alcoholic beverage. How could you not like this place?

The restaurant is in an old, red townhouse (an architectural anomaly in the sleek modernity of downtown Vancouver). It doesn’t seem as popular during the summer as during the colder months because this is the time of year when most folks like to enjoy dining al fresco along the waterfront. Its dark interior contrasts with the warm season, but it’s always inviting, and it’s an old standby for when guests come to call, which was the case when an old friend of my husband’s came to town recently.

Fat Badger squid starter
The squid appetizer.

The menu changes daily, but they often have fish and chips, which I tend to order. The appetizers we got for the table are all items to rave about. We had to get poutine because it’s a Canadian phenomenon that we thought our guest had to try; this version came with potato-stick hunks topped with chicken tikka masala, paneer, and curds. We also ordered a squid appetizer that came out with the squid perfectly tender and served with what looked and tasted like couscous discs held together with cheese, hot green peppers, and mushrooms (chanterelles?); all on a bed of Texas toast. We topped off the starters with buttermilk onion rings in a crispy, light crust.

For my main, I had fish and chips again. The generous portion of cod has a wonderfully crunchy batter, which I assume, because of the color and crunch, contains beer, and the chips are the restaurant’s standard big hunks of potato. The dish comes with side sauces of tartar and curry; plus, I saved the mayo that came with the onion rings as a dip.

This meal was even better than the last time we ate here, and I walked away wanting to come back soon.